A SYMPHONY OF HISTORY AND BEAUTY
Arrival in Catania meet your driver and enjoy a private transfer to your hotel***** in Taormina.
Afternoon at leisure.
Breakfast in hotel. Guided excursion by Jeep 4×4 of Mt. Etna that with its 3340 meters is the highest active volcano in Europe offers a stunning view of the sea from the Gulf of Catania, Taormina Bay and the Aeolian Islands. A bended road, fruit trees, a chestnut grove and a great variety of rose bushes, lying around the ancient family castle ” Villa Nicolosi”, at 550 metres above sea level, in the idyllic countryside setting of lush vineyard-covered slopes of the Etna foothills. Lunch will be provided in cellar of this local winery, where the chef and sommelier will show to the group the way of preparing and cooking typical sicilian dishes.
“I cannot think of another place in the world where it would be possible to drink a glass of wine surrounded by “alberello” vines on terraces made from lav and in such wonderful scenary: on one side the imposing, snow-white peak of Etna, on the other side, the sea glinting under the rays of a warm southern sun”
Back to the hotel and overnight.
Breakfast in hotel. Guided tour of Taormina, famous for its Greek-Roman Amphitheatre and its enchanting view of the Ionic Sea and Mt. Etna; definitely the most important resort of Sicily. Back to your hotel and overnight.
Breakfast in hotel and transfer to Noto. Recently became an Unesco world heritage site, Noto is the pearl of Baroque art in Sicily. Its centre area is quite precious, with the theatre and the sumptuous palaces, and between them the outstanding Villadorata Palace with its rich floral decorations supporting the balconies. Afterwords, transfer to “Villa Bufalefi”, located in the heart of Eloro wine area, part of Modica St. John’s feud since 1782. Villa Bufalefi is an old family’s manor house, where Modica St. John spent more than 4 months a year, In some of the rooms open to visit, you can revive the glories of the past, through objects and environments, moments of daily life, ancient jobs and events. Wine tasting and lunch will be held in the Villa. Transfer to Siracusa, that Cicero described it as“The Greatest greek city and the most beautiful of all”. Transfer to aristocratic hotel 4****S, dwelling in the heart of Ortigia, home of the most important buildings since the 13th. century.
Breakfast in hotel. The morning begins with a visit to the picturesque local fish market, winding through the alleys of Ortigia, seeing the typical Sicilian products. Meeting with Signora Fiora, who will demonstrate the preparation of two classic Sicilian dishes. After the dishes prepared will be served for lunch.
In the afternoon Guided tour of Ortigia, a small island site of ancient Greek temples, a labyrinth of narrow medieval streets and flamboyant Baroque Palaces set in a turquoise sea. You can also visit the ancient Jewish quarter “Giudecca” to admire the Jewish ritual baths.
Dinner on the balcony of the Palace Beneventano del Bosco, considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. The building dates from the Middle Ages, but the building you can see today dates mostly from the late 18th century, when it was largely rebuilt in the Sicilian Baroque style. From here you can enjoy a panorama which takes your breath away and admire the golden square of the Cathedral, the most elegant place of Ortygia.
Return to hotel
After breakfast transfer to Agrigento for a guided visit of the “Valley of the Temples”, home to some of the best Greek temples in the world. Visit to the Temple of Hercules, the Temple of Juno, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the wonderful Temple of Concord and finally the beautiful Garden of Kolymbetra.
Transfer to hotel*****, a magnificent residence of the end of the 18th century.
Dinner and overnight
After breakfast transfer to historic residence in Castelvetrano. Aragona Pignatelli Tagliavia Cortez were the former owners of the Tenuta, also known as La Conigliera. This noble family was amongst the most powerful figures of the Italian socio-political panorama from the XIII to the XIX century.Guests can experience a tasting tour of Olio Verde. The tour includes a visit to the mill (in action during the harvest season in October and November) and commented on a video of the harvest and pressing of olives, followed by a Q&A session, tasting of different vintages of olive oil “Olio Verde” which highlights the peculiar notes of freshness, and tips for olive oil shopping. After the visit to the Oil Mill (Frantoio) and later on the olive oil tasting, a meal is served at the buffet (depending on the season, the dining room, outdoors or indoors). After lunch the tour continues with educational walk through the olive grove and orchard, where guests can get a better understanding of the always fascinating olive three and to know local traditions and agricultural innovations. Return to hotel
After breakfast transfer to Bagheria for visit the Villa Spedalotto that was the location for some scenes of the film Johnny Stecchino by Roberto Benigni. The Villa Spedalotto is the country home of the Paternò di Spedalotto family. As all the Villas in Bagheria, it was built as a country house, and was traditionally used by the family only during the spring and autumn. While considered a national monument, it remains a private residence. In 1799, the villa was used to accommodate the exiled royal family of Naples Francis of Bourbon (the future King Francis I), his wife Archduchess Maria Clementina of Austria, and the daughter Maria Carolina (future Duchess of Berry). Anna Paternò Marchioness of Spedalotto offer lunch at one of the the halls of villa. In afternoon transfer to hotel in Palermo
Breakfast at the hotel and visit the historical city centre of Palermo: the Four Corners, The Massimo Theatre and the 12th century Cathedral of Palermo, Palermo’s extravagant baroque square. You will see the beautiful ancient streets of the historical centre and famous market where you can taste the typical street food. In afternoon guided tour of the Palazzo Gangi Valguarnera, considered the most sumptuous private residence in Sicily, Palazzo Gangi became almost legendary when Luchino Visconti decided to film the magnificient ballroom scene of “Il Gattopardo” there in 1963.The foundations of Palazzo Gangi date back to the mid 15th century, however the “grande maison” was transformed into a Palace only between 1749 and 1759 when the prince and princess of Gangi, Pietro e Marianna Valguarnera, commissioned the most famous artists in Sicily to create an atmosphere of great splendour and elegance. The beauty of the halls and the ballroom is dazzling.
“The Hall of Mirrors is a vast room in an enchanting, yet slightly bizarre, Rococo style: a masterpiece of Baroque design with golden fittings and doors entirely painted, like Pompadour skirts and bodices with fresh flowers”. The enthusiasm and effort of Princess Carine Vanni Mantegna have once more enabled the house to bask in the brightness of its chandeliers and gold fittings, the reflection of its silks and the brilliant yet languid atmosphere of its rooms.
After breakfast private transfer to airport and departure.